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Fourth Committee Approves 12 Draft Resolutions on Israeli Practices in Occupied Arab Lands, Palestine Refugees, as It Continues Joint General Debate

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GA/SPD/724

General Assembly
Fourth Committee

Seventy-fifth Session, 9th Meeting (PM)

Members Also Pass Texts on Atomic Radiation Effects, Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Information Questions, Special Political Missions

Continuing its joint general debate today, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) approved seven draft resolutions concerning Israeli practices in occupied Arab lands and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), as well as five additional texts on various subjects.

The Committee narrowly approved a draft titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” (document A/C.4/75/L.12) by a recorded vote of 72 in favour to 13 against, with 76 abstentions.

By its terms, the General Assembly reiterates its demand that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee and requests that the latter continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially its violations of the Geneva Convention. Moreover, it requests that the Special Committee continue to investigate the treatment and status of thousands of prisoners and detainees, including children, women and elected representatives, in Israeli prisons and detention centres within the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Further by that text, the Assembly requests that the Secretary‑General provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Moreover, it requests that the Assembly continue to task the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with assisting the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks.

The Committee went on to approve — by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Hungary, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States,), with 14 abstentions — a draft titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/75/L.13).

By that text, the General Assembly condemns Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as violations of international humanitarian law. It deplores, by other terms, Israel’s construction and expansion of settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, including its so‑called E‑1 plan, which aims to connect its illegal settlements and further isolate occupied East Jerusalem. The Assembly further deplores ongoing settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, which further fragment and undermine the contiguity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

By further terms, the Assembly condemns Israel’s demolition of Palestinian buildings in the neighbourhood of Wadi al‑Hummus, in the village of Sur Bahir, south of occupied East Jerusalem. It also reiterates its demand for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in all the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan. By other terms, the Assembly demands that Israel comply with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice.

Taking up a draft titled “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” (document A/C.4/75/L.14), the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 16 abstentions.

By the terms of that draft, the Assembly urges the parties to observe calm and restraint and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, especially in areas of religious and cultural sensitivity, including in East Jerusalem.

Also by that text, the Assembly demands that Israel cease all measures contravening international law, as well as discriminatory legislation, policies and actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people. They include the killing and injury of civilians, the arbitrary detention and imprisonment of civilians, forced displacement and any obstruction of humanitarian assistance. The Assembly also demands that Israel cease all of its settlement activities, the construction of the wall and any other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.

By further terms, the Assembly condemns all acts of violence, and especially any use of force by the Israeli occupying forces, against Palestinian civilians, as well as journalists, medical and humanitarian personnel. It also condemns all acts of violence by militants and armed groups against Israeli civilian areas resulting in loss of life and injury.

Taking action on three texts related to UNRWA, the Committee first approved a draft resolution titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (document A/C.4/75/L.9) by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 12 abstentions.

By its terms, the Assembly expresses concern regarding the negative implications of UNRWA’s severe financial crisis for the continued delivery of its core programmes. Further by that text, it calls on all donors to continue to strengthen their efforts to meet the Agency’s anticipated needs, including with regard to increased expenditures and needs arising from conflicts and instability in the region, and the serious socioeconomic and humanitarian situation. It also invites India to become a member of the Agency’s Advisory Commission.

Taking up a draft titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (document A/C.4/75/L.10), the Committee approved it by a recorded 151 votes in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Kiribati, Guatemala, Malawi, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Serbia, Solomon Islands).

By that text, the General Assembly expresses deep concern about UNRWA’s critical financial situation, caused by its structural underfunding and by rising needs and expenditures resulting from the deterioration of socioeconomic and humanitarian conditions. It also notes that contributions have not been predictable enough or sufficient to meet growing needs and remedy persistent shortfalls, which were exacerbated by the 2018 suspension of contributions from the Agency’s largest single voluntary donor.

The Assembly commends, by other terms, the Agency’s measures to address the financial crisis, including by implementing the medium‑term strategy for 2016‑2021 and various internal measures to contain expenditures, reduce operational and administrative costs, while maximizing the use of resources and reducing funding shortfalls. However, it expresses concern about plans and measures to interfere with or obstruct the Agency’s operations, including in East Jerusalem, contrary to international law and to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel.

By further terms, the Assembly commends the important role played by UNRWA throughout its areas of operation to help to prevent and contain the spread of the coronavirus disease. Moreover, the Assembly expresses its grave concern over attempts to discredit the Agency despite its proven operational capacity and consistent implementation of its mandate.

Further by the text, the Assembly urges Israel to expeditiously reimburse UNRWA for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by that country. Moreover, it calls upon Israel to cease obstructing the Agency’s movement and access as well as to cease levying taxes, extra fees and charges.

The Committee then approved a draft titled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (document A/C.4/75/L.11) by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, Serbia, Solomon Islands).

By that text, the General Assembly requests that the Secretary‑General take all appropriate steps to protect Arab properties, assets and property rights in Israel. Further, it calls upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary‑General in implementation of the resolution. Moreover, the Assembly urges both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of final‑status peace negotiations.

The Committee went on to approve a draft titled “The occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/75/L.15) by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 19 abstentions. By that text, the General Assembly calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and in particular to desist from establishing settlements. Further, the Assembly calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.

The Committee also approved several draft resolutions by consensus.

At the outset, it approved a text on the effects of atomic radiation (document A/C.4/75/L.4), by which the General Assembly supports the Scientific Committee’s intentions and plans for its programme of work, in particular its next periodic global surveys of radiation exposure. The Assembly also requests that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) continue, within existing resources, to service the Scientific Committee and to disseminate its findings to Member States, the scientific community and the public. Further by that text, the Assembly requests that the Secretary‑General strengthen support for the Scientific Committee within existing resources, particularly with regard to the increase of operational costs in the event of a further increase in membership.

The Committee then approved, by consensus, a draft titled “Continuity of the work of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its subsidiary bodies” (document A/C.4/75/L.5). By that text, the General Assembly recalls that the regular annual cycle of sessions of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its subcommittees was disrupted in 2020 owing to the COVID‑19 pandemic, and agrees that the Committee should consider the substantive items and convene the working group, taking into account the concerns of all countries, in particular those of developing countries, at its sixty‑fourth session in 2021.

Acting again without a vote, the Committee approved a draft resolution titled “Comprehensive review of special political missions” (document A/C.4/75/L.6). By its terms, the General Assembly stresses the need for the United Nations to continue improving its capabilities in the pacific settlement of disputes, including the mediation, prevention and resolution of conflict as well as peacebuilding and sustaining peace. Further by that text, the Assembly stresses the need for enhanced coordination and cooperation between special political missions and concerned regional and subregional organizations. It further requests that the Secretary‑General hold regular, inclusive and interactive dialogue on policy matters pertaining to such missions and reach out to ensure the participation of Member States.

The Committee then took up two texts on the question of information. It first approved, without a vote, draft resolution A — “Information in the service of humanity”, contained in the report on the forty‑first session of the Committee on Information (document A/75/21, chapter IV, p.11).

By the terms of that text, the General Assembly urges all countries and organizations concerned to ensure the free and effective performance of journalists’ professional tasks and condemn all attacks against them. It further urges States and organizations to enhance regional efforts and cooperation among developing countries, as well as cooperation between developed and developing countries, to strengthen communications capacities and to improve media infrastructure, especially in the areas of training and dissemination of information.

Acting again without a vote, the Committee went on to approve draft resolution B — “United Nations global communications policies and activities” — contained in the same report (document A/75/21, chapter IV, p.13).

By its terms, the Assembly underlines the need for reform of the Department of Global Communications to take into account the priorities set out by the Committee on Information in that regard, and the importance of carrying out appropriate consultations with Member States.

The Assembly calls, by other terms, for intensified cooperation for the effective dissemination of scientific knowledge, best practices and information regarding new diagnostics, drugs, future COVID‑19 vaccines and relevant guidelines. It also calls for promoting a “One Health” approach to prevent and tackle the risks of zoonotic diseases and pandemics such as COVID‑19.

By further terms, the Assembly reiterates its growing concern that the issuance of daily press releases has not been expanded to all official languages. As such, the Department must design a strategy to deliver daily press releases in all official languages, at the latest by the forty‑third session of the Committee on Information.

Delivering statements in explanation of position were representatives of Israel, United States, Germany (on behalf of the European Union), Pakistan, India, Syria and Iran.

Representatives of Australia, Romania, Indonesia, South Africa, Namibia, Cuba and Finland presented the draft resolutions for action.

Also addressing the Committee today were the Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States and an observer for the State of Palestine.

At the outset, representatives of the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Argentina, Iran and the United Kingdom spoke in exercise of the right of reply.

The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Friday, 6 November, to take action on outstanding agenda items.

General Debate

The Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States said the bloc opposes any proposals for resolving the Israel‑Palestine conflict that are not in keeping with a two‑State solution. Citing the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices, he said Israel persists in carrying out illegal detentions, demolition of Palestinian structures and other violations of international humanitarian law. Condemning Israel’s crimes in that regard, he and called for the revival of the peace process through a return to negotiations between the State of Palestine and Israel based on the two‑State formula. He called on the Secretary-General to convene a conference after January 2021, to re‑launch the peace process on the basis of the agreed pillars of international legitimacy. He went on to emphasize that the return of Palestine refugees remains a key issue for the international community to resolve, calling for it to address UNRWA’s financial difficulties. Any withholding of voluntary contributions would prove detrimental to Palestine refugees, he pointed out, calling on donors who have scaled back or frozen their contributions to reconsider that decision.

Right of Reply

The representative of the United Arab Emirates, responding to Iran, said the islands of Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb are part of his country’s territory. As such, Iran should pursue direct negotiations to resolve the conflict or approach the International Court of Justice, he added.

The representative of Morocco, also responding to Iran, cited the reference to territorial integrity by that country’s delegate, emphasizing in that regard that Morocco supports the legitimate right of the United Arab Emirates to Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Greater Tunb. International law clearly requires their restitution to the United Arab Emirates, he added. Concerning the right to self‑determination, he called upon Iran to respect that right with regard to ethnic minorities deprived of their human rights. Citing United Nations texts, he said Iran flouts human rights on a daily basis, adding that its destabilizing actions threated regional peace and security. Regarding Western Sahara, he underlined the historical, political and legal evidence that it is Moroccan territory.

The representative of Argentina said the Malvinas Islands[*], South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands as well as the surrounding maritime areas are integral parts of his country’s territory. Illegally occupied by the United Kingdom, they are the subject of a sovereignty dispute recognized by several international organizations, he added. Emphasizing that the principle of self‑determination cannot be applied to the Territory, he said the vote held there in 2013 was a unilateral act without legal value. However, it does put an end to the sovereignty issue, he stressed. Citing the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in the matter of the Chagos Archipelago, he said the self‑determination principle cannot be applied to peoples who do not have that right, and the obligation to resume negotiation does not depend on the desire of people brought to the islands by the United Kingdom.

The representative of Iran said the baseless claims by the United Arab Emirates and Morocco about the Iranian islands attack the territorial integrity of his country, which has enjoyed sovereignty over them for thousands of years. He described Morocco’s allegations as a reckless attempt to cover up its failure to uphold its obligations under international law to grant the Sahrawi people their right to self‑determination.

The representative of the United Kingdom said his country has no doubt about its sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) nor the right of its people to self‑determination.

The representative of the United Arab Emirates said Iran’s delegate lied about the Emirati islands under dispute as they have been under Arab control since the eighteenth century, adding that Tehran failed to provide any evidence to prove its allegations. Furthermore, its comments undermine the sovereign right of Morocco and is evidence that Iran has no respect for international law, he said.

The representative of Morocco, called upon Iran to respect the Charter of the United Nations and international law, and to return the islands to the United Arab Emirates. It is ironic that it is Iran calling for non‑interference when it interferes with all its neighbours and the world in general, he noted, emphasizing that Iran’s interference in the region and beyond are a great threat to international security. Iran should grant the right of self‑determination to its own citizens, who are marginalized on a daily basis, he said, calling upon the Government of Iran to stop its practice of torture and human rights violations.

The representative of Argentina reiterated that the principle of self‑determination is not applicable to the Malvinas Islands as it is not an absolute right as it relates to territorial integrity. The unique feature of the issue is that part of the Argentinian State was usurped and the legitimate authorities and inhabitants were turned away, replaced by the subjects of the occupying Power, he pointed out, emphasizing that there is a colonial situation in the Malvinas but not a colonized population.

The representative of Iran, taking the floor a second time, said his delegation rejects Morocco’s allegation against his country. Reiterating that Abu Musa, Lesser Tunb and Great Tunb represent an integral part of Iran’s territory, he said the United Arab Emirates is using the issue to advance its political vision in the Persian Gulf. Moreover, Morocco continues to deny the people of Western Sahara their right to self‑determination, he added.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Committee then took action on several draft resolutions, beginning with a text on the effects of atomic radiation (document A/C.4/75/L.4).

The representative of Australia introduced the draft, saying her delegation looks forward to three new scientific annexes and the programme of work for the 2020‑2024 period, which will be considered at the Scientific Committee’s sixty‑seventh session. Noting that the Scientific Committee will celebrate its sixty‑fifth anniversary in 2021, he said the occasion will provide an opportunity to consider the commitment and dedicated work of scientists around the world as they provide an independent and authoritative analysis of radiation.

The representative of the United States, making a general statement, pointed to operative paragraph 24 of the text, noting that the criteria for new Scientific Committee members are insufficient. Emphasizing the importance of considering the records of Member States in terms of maintaining international peace and security, she said Iran’s position, in particular, is inconsistent with the Scientific Committee’s.

The Committee then approved the text without a vote.

The representative of Iran, speaking in explanation of position, recalled that in 2018, the Fourth Committee rejected the issue to which the delegate of the United States referred, therefore, raising the topic again is unconstructive.

The Committee then turned to a text on the peaceful uses of outer space (document A/C.4/75/L.5).

The representative of Romania introduced the draft, noting that the Working Group of the Whole held one virtual meeting on 21 October 2020, when it agreed to the text as a whole with no amendments.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

The Committee then took up a series of draft resolutions (documents A/C.4/75/L.9-L.11) relating to: “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (L.9); “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (UNRWA, L.10); and “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (L.11).

The representative of Indonesia introduced drafts A/C.4/75/L.9 and L.11, noting that they focus only on the technical update due to restrictions caused by the pandemic. Nevertheless, the texts continue to lay out the difficult situations suffered by the Palestine refugees and the severe funding shortfall of affecting UNRWA, he said, adding that they also reaffirm the fundamental rights of the refugees and the international community’s responsibility to protect their well‑being pending a just solution to the Israel‑Palestine conflict. Emphasizing that UNRWA continues to play a crucial role in the region, he appealed to Member States to lend their financial and political support to the Agency. The draft also reflects that India will become a member of the Agency’s advisory committee, he said.

The representative of South Africa introduced draft resolution A/C.4/75/L.10, saying it reaffirms that support for UNRWA is vital to the plight of the Palestine refugees against the background of the continuing conflict. It also reiterates the call for efforts to close the Agency’s financing gap in order to ensure the continued services it provides.

The Committee then took up a series of draft resolutions related to the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (documents A/C.4/75/L.12-L.15).

The representative of Namibia introduced drafts A/C.4/75/L.12 and A/C.4/75/L.13, saying the Special Committee’s general debate on the topics reflected the international community’s collective concern over Israel’s activities and human rights violations in the occupied lands. Israel’s violations have only escalated and are well documented by United Nations agencies and international organizations, he said, noting that draft A/C.4/75/L.12 renews the Special Committee’s mandate and reaffirms its parameters to raise awareness of the grave human rights violations against the Palestinian population. He went on to note that, in view of appeals for technical rollovers, draft A/C.4/75/L.13 has only been technically updated since the General Assembly’s seventy‑fourth session. It reiterates that Israel cannot exercise sovereignty or annex the Territories according to its obligations under international law.

The representative of Cuba then introduced two draft resolutions in the same cluster: “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” (document A/C.4/75/L.14) and “the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/75/L.15). He noted that Israel persists in conducting illegal colonial activities and violating international humanitarian law. Moreover, the human rights and protection crisis has worsened, causing suffering for millions of innocent people. As such, he said, the texts condemn Israel’s systematic violations, including military operations that kill and injure Palestinian civilians, arbitrary detentions and the construction of settlements, among others. Such actions seek to change the legal status and demographic characteristics of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, he noted, adding that the draft condemns any use of force by the occupying forces and settlers as well as actions by militants and armed groups that target Israeli civilians. On the Occupied Syrian Golan, he said no amendments have been made to the text adopted every year.

The representative of Israel, making a general statement, emphasized that the draft resolutions under consideration achieve nothing. The failure of the United Nations to end the Israel‑Palestine conflict is a result of its continued support for UNRWA, which perpetuates the conflict, he said, adding that the Agency uses its schools to spread hatred, and enables Hamas to use its infrastructure for its own activities. Moreover, UNRWA inflates refugee numbers and incites violence, reinforcing the demand that millions of refugees be allowed to resettle in Israel. Israel supports providing humanitarian assistance to refugees but opposes wasting resources on those who do not meet the international definition of refugees, he stressed, saying his delegation will vote against the draft resolutions under consideration.

The representative of the United States, speaking in explanation of position, pointed to her country’s vision for peace and the Abraham Accords in the efforts for peace, while noting that the United Nations takes up a disproportionate number of texts that are critical of Israel. Anti‑Israel resolutions only lock both sides in an intractable conflict, she said, explaining that her delegation will therefore vote against the texts.

Moving to take action on the UNRWA‑related texts, the Committee first approved a draft resolution titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (document A/C.4/75/L.9) by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 12 abstentions.

Taking up a draft titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (document A/C.4/75/L.10), the Committee approved it by a recorded 151 votes in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Kiribati, Guatemala, Malawi, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Serbia, Solomon Islands).

The Committee went on to approve a draft titled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (document A/C.4/75/L.11) by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, Serbia, Solomon Islands).

The representative of Pakistan, speaking in explanation of position on “Assistance to Palestine refugees”, said his delegation voted in favour of that text but dissociates itself from operative paragraph 6, which invites India to become a member of UNRWA’s advisory commission. That country’s atrocities in occupied Jammu and Kashmir are well‑documented, he said, pointing out that India is an illegal occupier but portrays itself as a well‑wisher to Palestinians. Pakistan will continue to extend political and financial support to UNRWA, he said, adding that it will always stand with its Palestinian brethren.

The representative of Israel, making a general statement, said the draft resolutions only serve to embolden a narrative leading to incitement and violence. Anyone who wants peace should not contemplate supporting them, he added. By supporting the texts, the United Nations is wasting human resources and sabotaging any chance for peace, he stressed, adding that the texts also ignore any link between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount. Spotlighting the Jewish connection to Jerusalem, he said many countries are moving their embassies to the city and acknowledging it as the capital of the Jewish people and the Jewish State. No resolution adopted at the United Nations will stop that process, he stressed.

The representative of India, responding to Pakistan’s delegate, said that country is a globally recognized hub for terrorism that sponsors cross‑border terror attacks and glorifies terrorists as martyrs. Jammu and Kashmir constitute an integral part of India, she stressed, adding that its residents enjoy all human rights.

The Committee then took up a series of draft resolutions related to the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (documents A/C.4/75/L.12‑L.15).

The representative of Germany, speaking in explanation of position on behalf of the European Union, said his delegation has not expressed a legal qualification to the term “forced displacement” contained in several of the drafts. Concerning one text’s reference to the holy sites in Jerusalem, he called for upholding the status quo, in line with previous understandings and with respect for Jordan’s special role there. As for the terminology of the Temple Mount and Haram al‑Sharif, he stressed the need for the draft’s language to reflect sensitivity to the holy sites of the three major monotheistic religions.

The Committee narrowly approved a draft titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” (document A/C.4/75/L.12), by a recorded vote of 72 in favour to 13 against, with 76 abstentions.

The Committee went on to approve — by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Hungary, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 14 abstentions — a draft titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/75/L.13).

Taking up a draft titled “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” (document A/C.4/75/L.14), the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 138 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 16 abstentions.

In other action, the Committee approved a draft titled “The occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/75/L.15) by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 19 abstentions.

The representative of Iran, speaking in explanation of position, pointed out that despite overwhelming international support for the resolutions, Israel’s non‑compliance, with backing from the United States, has meant the international community remains unable to implement the resolutions.

The representative of India, speaking in explanation of position in relation to agenda items 52 and 53, said that while her country has a deep sense of commitment to the Palestinian cause, it abstained from draft A/C.4/75/L.12 as it sees the need for streamlining it to avoid the duplication of mandates with A/C.4/75/L.14.

The representative of Syria, in a general statement, said the broad international support for the resolutions demonstrates the rejection of occupation by force and sends a clear message to Israel that it must end its occupation and stop its violations of the Geneva Convention. The international community also sent a message to those who lend a unilateral legitimacy to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, he said. The opposing votes of the United States and Israel are further evidence of the violations of international law, he said, pointing out that the United States supports Israel in all manner of ways and has overstepped civilized relations with countries in the region. With that country’s support, Israel built a settlement in the Syrian Golan and named it Trump, he said, stressing that such unilateral moves prove that the United States lacks the political or moral competency to determine the fates of the world’s people. He underlined that any unilateral measure is null and void and has no legal impact.

The observer for the State of Palestine said the clarity and strength of the international community’s support is more important than ever. That the resolutions have been accepted by an overwhelming majority reflects its support of the Palestinian plight in line with international law, he added. Contrary to accusations by some, the resolutions are firmly rooted in international law, she said, emphasizing, however, that implementation is paramount for the credibility of the United Nations and the viability of a rules‑based international order.

The Committee then took up a text on special political missions.

The representative of Finland, speaking also on behalf of Mexico, introduced the draft resolution, noting that it aims to ensure the missions support peacebuilding in a holistic manner and produce positive results on the ground. Early results of the reform of the peacebuilding architecture are already evident, he said, adding that the co‑facilitators therefore decided to present a draft resolution with only technical updates.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved the draft “Comprehensive review of special political missions” (document A/C.4/75/L.6).

The Committee then took up two drafts on the question of information.

The representative of the United States, speaking in explanation of position, said her delegation recognizes the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and each country must work towards realizing it within its own context. However, the United States dissociates itself from operative paragraph 81 because the right to development does not have an internationally agreed meaning, she added.

The Committee first took up draft resolution A — “Information in the service of humanity”, contained in the report on the forty‑first session of the Committee on Information (document A/75/21, chapter IV, p.11) — approving it without a vote.

Acting again by consensus, the Committee approved draft resolution B — “United Nations global communications policies and activities”, contained in the same report (document A/75/21, chapter IV, p.13).

[*] A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

For information media. Not an official record.